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Simplex, Full-Duplex and Half-Duplex Operation
(Page 2 of 2)
Comparing Half-Duplex and Full-Duplex Operation
Of these three options, full-duplex
is obviously the one that yields the highest performance. Full-duplex
operation doubles the theoretical bandwidth of the connection. If a
link normally runs at 1 Mbps but can work in full-duplex mode, it really
has 2 Mbps of bandwidth (1 Mbps in each direction). Remember the key
word theoretical howeveryou do not really get double
the performance in real life, because communications usually do not
involve sending lots of data in both directions at once. However, you
certainly get better throughput than in a half-duplex mode.
In some cases, the mode of operation
is a function of the technology and cannot be changed. In others, however,
full-duplex mode is a matter of the correct hardware settings, and also
whether the software supports full-duplex operation or not. Thus, getting
higher performance in this area is sometimes simply a matter of ensuring
Full-duplex operation has been pretty
much taken for granted in communications for years. The more interesting
development has been the rise in significance of full-duplex operation
for local area networking. Traditionally, LANs have always used half-duplex
operation on a shared access medium. As the use of switches has increased,
allowing dedicated bandwidth to each computer, full-duplex operation
has become very popular. Full-duplex operation in Ethernet not only
allows the simultaneous transmission of data in both directions, it
also eliminates contention for the formerly shared access mediumno
more collisions. The combination of these two effects improves performance,
Key Concept: There are three basic operating modes that describe how data is sent between connected devices on a network. In simplex operation, data can flow in only one direction between two devices. Half-duplex networks allow any device to transmit, but only one may do so at a time. Full-duplex operation means two attached devices can each transmit and receive simultaneouslythis offers the greatest potential performance, since throughput is not decreased by forcing one device to wait for another before sending data.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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